Wednesday, January 5, 2011

January 6, 2011

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:1-2
In one of my recent posts I mentioned that the final verse of this twelfth chapter states the purpose of every believer, "Be not overcome by evil but overcome evil with good."
Someone might challenge that notion by saying that Matthew 28:19-20 is the purpose statement for believers. Matthew 28:18-20 says this, "Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
I would suggest that is a strategy for overcoming evil with good. And an effective one at that! Becoming a disciple of Jesus certainly makes you better and helps you be better and do better things.
Someone else might argue that the First Commandment would be the purpose statement of Christians. Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 22:37-39
Love is the deal! There is no doubt about that! But that is the source of doing good. Loving God is doing a good thing. There is no better thing. When you love God you will do what is best for Him and for you. And, when you love God you will do good for others as well. That sort of divine love WILL most definitely overcome evil.
So, living on purpose is a matter of loving on purpose. Loving God and loving others is evidence that God has overcome the evl in you, making you good and enabling you to overcome evil with the goodness of God.
Love is the power of your purpose and disciples are the proof that His purpose is operating in you!

January 5, 2011

"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:21

This great chapter of Romans would be just as great even if you read it backwards. You can start at the end and it still communicates the same great truths. Romans 12 has much to say about discovering God's purpose for your life and this final verse is the purpose statement.
The purpose of every believe is to overcome evil with good! Is that a great goal or what? Who could be against that? Why wouldn't everyone want to sign on with that purpose?
I can think of at least two reasons why this is not as easy as it sounds:
First, how can we overcome evil when we ARE evil?
What? Me evil?
Yes, you! And me. Thanks to Adam, all inherit an evil fallen moral nature. Everyone of us have been born into sin and that sin separates you and me from God. So, the fallen moral nature is cut off from the only hope it has of changing. So, the first evil that has to be overcome in the evil within!
Second, who defines good?
Does it make sense that evil people would be left to define what is good? No way! We would define goodness down to such a level that there would be little difference distinguishing good from evil. That largely describes where our culture is today. Goodness has been defined down because moral absolutes have been abandoned. So, goodness becomes the subjective opinion of each individual based on what works best for them. That is the moral chaos we see around us today. That is why we have political correctness. God has been replaced by the government and the worship of the earth, so goodness is defined by what is good for the state and what is good for the earth. Think where that ultimately leads - whoever has the most strength and power will ultimately define what is good and what is not. It is called totalitarianism. God is the Only One Who is good and only He is the source of all that is good! Good is what God says it is! Good is what God is!
Verses 1 and 2 of Romans 12 tells you how to overcome the WITHIN you so you can confront evil in the world AROUND you. That is your purpose. It is the only way you can fulfill the purpose statement delineated for you and me.
Tired of the evil within? Ready to become an overcomer? Begin living on purpose today!